Clare welcomes the potential for investment in jobs and skills that the off shore wind farm would bring to Dorset
Clare and Simon Bowkett with Shadow Energy Minister, Caroline Flint
Clare has joined Simon Bowkett (Labour's parliamentary candidate for South Dorset) in welcoming the off-shore wind farm proposed in the channel off the Dorset coast and calls on MPs and councillors across the county to get behind this development.
South Dorset’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Simon Bowkett said, “We have a vision of a local economy that sees more jobs and better jobs come to this part of the world. Renewable technologies have the potential to see massive job creation in coming years, and I want Dorset to be at the forefront of making the case for investment – not behind the curve.
“Navitus Bay represents a fantastic opportunity for this area to become a leading centre of renewable technology, and for Portland Port to develop a specialist role. I am amazed that all our local Tory MPs, and all the local Tory-led councils oppose this scheme at a time when their own ministers in government are stating the need to secure the UK’s energy supply in the future, and are backing off-shore wind-powered generation.
“The UK’s energy supply is facing limited capacity, fossil fuels are becoming more complicated and expensive to extract, and climate change is a reality that we all have to wake up to. Renewable technologies are the future – and we want Dorset to lead the field, and for local companies and workers to benefit from the opportunities and openings that will be created.”
Clare says, “Simon and I welcome the investment and jobs in Dorset that this exciting project brings. I am writing to the Planning Inspectorate voicing my support. Whilst backing the scheme, Simon and I will also be pushing for some community gain as part of the deal. We are looking for significant investment in skills training for local young people from the developer.
‘If we’re to maintain investor confidence and ensure that the UK capitalises on the growth of this sector, we need long-term policy stability and firm political backing. Sadly, the local MPs and Councils are undermining Dorset’s case to receive this investment and the employment and skills it would bring ; I am pleased to support Simon’s lead. We want more jobs and better jobs for Dorset, and we will work proactively with Navitus Bay, local businesses and skills providers, and with local communities to secure the best deal all-round.”
(Supplied by RenewableUK)
Security of Supply
- Generation from renewables currently makes up around 15 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply. The largest contributor to this is the combination of onshore and offshore wind power; together they provided 7.7% of our total electricity in 2013 which is equal to the power needs of nearly 6.5m homes.
- Offshore wind in the UK currently provides around 8 terawatt-hours of electricity annually; this is equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 2.5 million homes.
- Wind energy will become increasingly important for the UK’s security of supply. Nearly 20% of UK electricity generation operating in 2011 will have closed by the early part of the next decade.
- Moreover, the UK is becoming increasingly reliant on imported fuel – imports in 2013 were at a record high, with net import dependency at 47% - up from 28% in 2010.
- By 2020, 10% of electricity could come from offshore wind and by 2050 estimates suggest that there is the potential for 50% of the UK’s power to come from offshore wind alone, depending on the development of an interconnected grid.
Powering economic growth
- Wind, wave and tidal power currently provide employment for 34,500 people in the UK.
- This includes 13,000 jobs (direct and indirect) in the offshore wind sector. In a high growth scenario, jobs in the offshore wind sector could rise to 44,000 by 2023.
- The UK could become the leading North European manufacturing hub for offshore wind. In addition to ‘tier-one’ manufacturers of large turbines, such as the recently announced Siemens plant in Hull, continued growth of offshore wind will drive investment throughout the UK supply chain – increasing the local content and economic benefits of the sector to the UK economy.
- The Government’s Offshore Wind Strategy envisages offshore wind delivering £7bn GVA to the economy by 2020 and boosting exports to up to £18bn by 2030.
Protecting our environment
- The UK has made a firm commitment to cut carbon emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050. Between 2010 and 2020, the UK is expected to cut greenhouse emissions by 29 per cent, and must then reduce this amount by a further 85 per cent by 2030.
- The UK wind fleet (onshore and offshore) currently reduces CO2 emissions by over 11m tonnes per year.
- Each MW of installed wind means more than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 saved per year. This is equivalent to 100,000 trees, turning off nearly 1,500 plasma TVs for a year or taking over 300 cars off the road for a year.
- Support for renewable energy accounted for less than 3% in 2013 of the average domestic energy bill—that’s less than £37 a year. Of this, support for wind was under £19 or less than 35p per week
- The main cause of energy bill increases in recent years has been the rising cost of gas. By developing our domestic renewable energy sources we guard against the dangers of price shocks or supply disruption of imports, and fix the costs of the energy we are using.
- Offshore wind is committed to cutting costs by 30% by 2020, making it cost-competitive with other forms of low-carbon generation.
What the electorate thinks
- Polling has consistently shown support across the political spectrum for the development of renewable energy, with offshore wind particularly enjoying strong public support.
- The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Public Attitudes Tracker consistently shows that over 70% of people either ‘strongly support’ or ‘support’ offshore wind. In contrast, only about 7% of people are opposed.
- In order to ensure that there is continued investment in renewable energy and that the UK fully maximises the economic benefits from developing renewables, there needs to be greater certainty provided to investors about the path beyond 2020.
- In particular, a cross-party consensus over a 2030 power decarbonisation target would send a strong signal to the wind, wave and tidal energy industries and, crucially, those looking to invest in projects and the manufacturing base, whose decisions are taken on the basis of long-term market prospects.